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Erfan Jalilian

Erfan Jalilian, Shiraz Persian Restaurant (Image supplied)

He’s the owner of the Coast’s beloved Persian restaurant, Shiraz in Surfers Paradise and if you haven’t yet had the pleasure of dining there, do yourself a favour and book in ASAP.

We sat down for a chat with Erfan Jalilian about why Persian food is so special and his personal favourite dishes on the menu.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
It’s been 8.5 years.

What do you love most about living here?
It offers pretty much a big city lifestyle but doesn’t have the traffic and craziness of a big city. Weather and nature are cheery on the top!

Tell us why you opened Shiraz Persian Restaurant on the Coast…
I didn’t open the store, I only came to help them back in 2012 as the store was struggling and I was doing my Masters Degree back then. I helped for a couple of years until I finished my studies, and by the time I wanted to leave the business was booming, so one thing led to another and I stayed in the business and we’ve been improving the business over the years with the help of our great crew.

What are some of your favourite dishes on the menu?
A tough one! Lamb Shank always comes to mind, followed by Shishlik (the lamb cutlets) and then Joojeh Torsh (which is marinated chicken in pomegranate sauce and ground walnuts).

You have an in-house delivery service now, do you deliver everywhere on the Coast?
Pretty much yes! Up to 7km radius for FREE (if above $40) and even further away, we can still deliver for a small fee and higher minimum orders. We’ve delivered to Hope Island, Helensvale and even as far as Upper Coomera!

How have you adapted your Persian dishes to a Gold Coast audience?
Honestly, Persian food by nature is loveable, it’s full of flavour but not too heavy to punch you in the face! Regardless, we always try to use the best quality ingredients and we’re very picky about them, we don’t just use any tomato sauce or mayo etc, we only use the brands that have been tested by us and we’re happy with their quality. We also found that most places charge hefty prices and give you so little and you’d leave the place hungry. Not on our watch! Our portions have been and will be always generous.

Do you cater for private parties and events?
Yes, we do! Persian food is great. We’re currently working on some catering menus but customers can always call me on 0460 520 073 and I can help to make a suitable menu within their budget. Due to Covid, at the moment we only serve the food to the location and don’t do catering on the spot. But hopefully this will change in the near future.

Do you have anything exciting on the cards for the rest of the year?
Yes, we have some upcoming exciting news. Can’t say anything right now but we’ll keep you posted.

Tell us your favourites on the Coast:
Coffee spot: Coffee Brothers in Merrimac
Cafe for breakfast: View Cafe at Hinze Dam
Restaurant for dinner: My wife and I both love Etsu in Mermaid Beach
How does your weekend usually look: Saturdays are busy at work until late night, Sundays I have off with my wife, little getaways to Mt Tamborine or I spend time with friends and family.

Shiraz Persian Restaurant

Shiraz Bistro

Popular Persian restaurant opens in prime Pink Poodle position

Shiraz Persian Restaurant & Bar Surfers Paradise interior (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Shiraz Persian Restaurant & Bar Surfers Paradise interior (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

If there is one thing we love to see on the Gold Coast, it is when hospitality businesses are doing well. Happily serving scores of loyal customers and generally pushing the boundaries in taste and service every single service. Naturally, the pandemic has proven to be a challenging time for all, particularly our city’s restaurants and cafes.

So, when we heard the news that a forerunning Surfers Paradise restaurant was looking to expand their operation and move into bigger premises, we knew you’d want to hear all about it.

The multi-awarded Shiraz Persian Restaurant & Bar opened ten years ago on Surfers Paradise Boulevard and since then has steadily become known for delicious, authentic, and highly lauded Persian dishes. Owner Erfan Jalilian and business partner Mohammad Shirmehrjerdi have been on the hunt for a new location for several years — the need for a larger venue has been to cater for all their loyal customers! Happily, though, they have now finally found a new home at the former iconic ‘Pink Poodle’ site, which today sits at the base of Mantra Wings Surfers Paradise.

Slow Cooked Gardan (lamb neck) & Garden Salad, Shiraz Persian Restaurant & Bar (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Slow Cooked Gardan (lamb neck) & Garden Salad, Shiraz Persian Restaurant & Bar (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

Fear not, though; the original location is in the process of being transformed into Shiraz Bistro Mediterranean Cuisine, offering a more casual-style dining featuring house-made souvlaki. More to come on that later…

Now that Erfan and this team have renovated the new Pink Poodle location and put their spin on it, patrons can expect to see the same signature Shiraz Persian Restaurant + Bar aesthetics they know and love just in a new space. Within this new and much larger home, there is seating for over 200 guests, utilising a sun-drenched north facing alfresco area. All splashed with clean whites and a hint of the Shiraz turquoise feature colour!

Others will notice the inclusion of a baby grand piano, a new marble front counter, backlit bar area, and the ‘well-known’ Shiraz large mirror have all been added to give the venue a true Shiraz Persian feel.

The Persian drool-worthy cuisine that Shiraz is all too well renowned for will feature the tastebud tingling addition of some new dishes. As the menu has just dropped, we can confirm it is looking delicious on all fronts.

Zereshk Polo, Shiraz Persian Restaurant & Bar (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Zereshk Polo, Shiraz Persian Restaurant & Bar (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

Heart-warming entrees such as Kashk-E-Badenjan (spicy eggplant dip) with Turkish bread prepare you for a variety of succulent Kabobs (grilled skewers) or perhaps Meygoo (marinated grilled prawns) or Baghali Polo with Mahiche’, a steamy fall-off-the-bone lamb shank. All dishes are certified Halal, boasting a large variety of vegan and vegetarian and gluten-free dishes to boot.

On the drink side of things, you’ll discover a wide range of deep and charismatic wines which partner up to the vibrant and savoury flavours of the menu with ease. A sizeable collection of cocktails and tap beers round out an offering that will cater for all tastes at all times of the day.

Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, we see the new Shiraz as your next prime place for a decadent al fresco feast or perhaps the spot for a sophisticated evening for two. Either way, the flavours, setting and service will not disappoint!

When: Every day 11.30am ‑ 9.30pm
Where: 2893 Gold Coast Highway, Surfers Paradise

Words by Alex Mitcheson.

Classic Margarita, Shiraz Persian Restaurant & Bar (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Classic Margarita, Shiraz Persian Restaurant & Bar (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
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